Champaign, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — Building a connection between teammates can take time and for some athletes, it may take years. but for two Tuscola sisters, they have had nearly a decade and a half to grow that connection.
Tuscola softball's dynamic sister duo of Ella and Ava Boyer has come to be one of the top middle infields in all of central Illinois high school softball. Given the family relationship, these two have come up together in sports, and their strong sister bond has led to a major advantage on the field.
"We started playing together when she was like seven and I was nine, on the same travel ball team. So obviously just working out together ever since that young age, I feel like this year just kind of showed that all off, especially turning the double plays with each other. You know, we have a great connection up the middle." said Ella Boyer.
Ava Boyer on her connection with her sister. "Sometimes I don't even have to tell her, like we know what's going on in each other's heads and that really helps a lot as being sisters."
That connection has led to knowing each other's every move and when it comes to turning double plays up the middle, Ella and Ava are able to do it at a high level.
"They've got eight double plays this year, just between the two of 'em and then Ella's been part of 12 of them. So a pretty good year for us... A lot of people don't understand them, sure they're talented kids, but they're talented because of their hard work," said Tuscola softball head coach Leonard Sementi.
While their defensive game has been a major key to their success, building off each other offensively both physically and mentally has also been big for them.
"Well, Ava leads off and then I hit third, but I think, she starts things off, you know, and that trickles down through the lineup," said Ella Boyer.
"Try to do my best to lead off and then even if I do get out or I get a hit, I tell my sister what I saw at the plate and sometimes even when I have a swinging flaw, she helps me with that, when I get back to the dugout," said Ava Boyer.
As the regular season is wrapping up and the postseason is nearing a start. The two Boyer sisters are beginning to cherish what may be their final time on the same field together in the same uniform.
"I think just playing with a like sister or somebody in your family is something. Obviously, our family has cherished, you know, not having to divide and conquer and watch both of us, but just like playing together, you know, having all these memories together. Just stuff like that. I think we work well together and it's just been a great experience. Having someone like Ava, by my side who shares a lot of the same qualities as I do," said Ella Boyer.
Ava Boyer on cherishing her time remaining with her sister. "I would say I look up to my sister a lot... She's a great role model, so I try to follow in her footsteps the best I can. Although she set it very high, I just think that she helps me do the best I can."
With having surpassed the 15-win mark on the season and high hopes heading into postseason play, their mind is set on one thing to come June.
"We start off in Meridian vs Meridian, one of our conference rivals. I would say over the years. They know what we got. We know what they have, so it's whoever has more heart, you know, whoever guts it out... But I think, you know, this team's pretty special and we can really go far in the postseason too," said Ella Boyer on their hopes for the post season.
Ava, Ella, and the rest of the Tuscola softball team will wrap up their regular season Saturday against Salt Fork.